How an Englishman funded a 2G Flicx Pitch to help grow the game in Uruguay

What motivated a man from Cheltenham to fund-raise for a cricket pitch to be sent 6812 miles across to Montevideo in Uruguay? Our business development manager Ashley Appleby finds out in the ninth episode of #AshAsh …

Rob’s wife was born in Montevideo, they have four sons and their best chance of playing international cricket was to represent Uruguay. In the past few months Rob has embarked on a unique fundraising project to raise funds for a 2G Flicx Pitch to be sent out to South America so that hard-ball cricket can be played with the aim of improving the standard of training and matches. In due course it could enable teams to tour Uruguay.

Cricket in Uruguay actually has a long and interesting history with Victoria Cricket Club established in 1842 by British ex pats. In 1868 the first game between Argentina and Uruguay took place whilst a touring side from the MCC visited in 1926 when the team included future English prime minister Alec Douglas-Home! A recent revival has taken place with John Biscomb setting up the Uruguay Cricket Association (UCA) in 2007 with president Hidhu setting up the UPL playing tape-ball cricket on La Rambla with the majority of players now having a South – East Asian origin. These players are taking the game forward and are committing huge amounts of time to establishing the game. Esteban McDermott the ceo of Cricket Argentina has also been a great help in enabling the Uruguayan players to develop.

Project 27 has so far gained 24 of 27 donors who have each pledged £100 towards the pitch (with help from a voucher too from Flicx UK) and the aim is for the pitch to be sent out to Uruguay in time for the 150th anniversary game between neighbours Argentina in December 2018.

” We did some initial research and tried to find what we thought was the best solution and the due diligence showed that the 2G Flicx Pitch was the best option and we are grateful for the support we have had with the project” said Rob

Clubs or charities looking to raise funds for facilities might like to look at Rob’s model, whilst crowdfunding websites could also be used if more time is available. If anyone is interested in supporting Cricket Uruguay and helping them complete their fundraising efforts, do contact Rob Sharp at rob_sharp100@hotmail.com

You can also follow Cricket Uruguay via Twitter https://twitter.com/CricketUruguay 

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Surrey Cricket Foundation and Flicx UK Come Together to Enhance State School Facilities

Surrey Cricket Foundation and Flicx UK have come together to support the development of state school facilities for cricket in Surrey and South London with the development of a new funding programme focused on the versatile 2G Flicx Pitch.

The 2G Flicx Pitch is the world’s most portable, versatile cricket pitch and was designed to enable grass fields to be converted to cricket venues with a roll out, roll up solution. The new and improved 2G tile is now UK made, easier to move, softer when rolling out and offers more grip and better performance, not just on grass but also on synthetic surfaces, playgrounds, indoor halls and more! Clubs and schools are now able to increase their cricket capacity for matches and training, which helps to facilitate increased participation, especially in areas where facilities are a challenge and green spaces at a premium.

The Surrey Cricket Foundation will consider funding up to 50% of the cost of a 2G Flicx Pitch where state schools can demonstrate the provision will enable them to enhance and increase participation in the game. The aim of the funding is to provide an opportunity for schools that may not be able provide a traditional cricket facilities due to the size and lay out of their school site. Flicx UK are integral to the partnership, offering discounted rates on a range of their products that are available within the funding scheme. The ultimate goal is to enable more people to play the game and although possibly a dream rather than a vision, we hope that one day we will be able to say that a Surrey player had their first opportunity to play cricket as a result of a Surrey funded 2G Flicx pitch.

Speaking about the relationship with Surrey Cricket Foundation, Flicx UK’s Business Development Manager Ashley Appleby said “We are delighted to support the Surrey Cricket Foundation and help their vital projects and programmes going forward. The funding pot available for 2G Flicx Pitch purchases by state schools in the county will be instrumental in helping many new young girls and boys access cricket and give them a reliable surface to play on which will in turn encourage shots to be played creating more excitement and enjoyment. That the 2G Flicx Pitch is approved by Surrey for use in matches and training, is a great seal of approval for the quality of the product following extensive tests and trials by stakeholders within the county with excellent feedback and results.”

Participation Manager, Simon Hards said, “We are really excited by the partnership with Flicx UK. Working together we believe we can have a significant impact on participation in state schools and this comes as we approach what is being described as the biggest summer of cricket ever with the World Cup and Ashes taking place in England next year. Beyond that cricket will once again appear on terrestrial television from 2020 onwards and we hope the supply of 2G Flicx Pitches into the school network will enable further growth of the game.”

Director of Participation, Paul Taylor said, “Surrey Cricket Foundation’s mission is to support and improve cricket across Surrey and South London and we believe that this partnership is another example, supporting the state school network to improve their facilities. We hope that this in turn will help schools to increase participation in the game, giving young people a great cricketing experience that will foster a life long love for the game.”

For more information about Surrey Cricket Foundation’s 2G Flicx Pitch funding offer please visit http://www.surreycricketfoundation.org/page/schools/flicx-pitch-funding/flicx-pitch-funding-14989/ or contact Elizabeth Sleet at esleet@surreycricket.com.

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Cricket games played down Worcester High Street! Flicx supports #Street6s

Flicx UK, home of the worlds most versatile cricket pitch, supported the Worcester Street Sixes tournament last week which involved 18 teams of six a side, using soft balls, plying street cricket on Worcester High Street!

Street Sixes is a charity cricket event supported by the Worcestershire Ambassadors and played in the middle of Worcester High Street with the aim of raising funds and awareness to take cricket to places its not normally played, supporting young children from underprivileged backgrounds in Worcestershire. The matches were played on a range of colourful 2G Flicx Batting ends which gave the tournament vibrancy and a consistent surface for the players to enjoy. Worcestershire CC used their own bespoke branded green street 6’s pitch, there was a blue Wicketz pitch loaned by the local Lords Taviners group and Flicx brought their new beige pitch along.  Take a listen to our Business Development Manager Ashley Appleby being interview at the event which was also featured on BBC West Midlands.

Speaking about the event Tom Raymond-Hill, Cricket Development Director at Worcestershire Cricket Board said “We’re really pleased with how Street6s has gone this year and the link up with Flicx. Street6s in its essence is about bringing the business community together to play cricket in an unusual place which in turn raises funds to take cricket into deprived communities. On this occasion the funds raised have purchased Flicx Pitches which were not only used on the day but will be donated to local Wicketz hubs.”

 

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Pitching In … Our take on recent developments in the structure of youth cricket

Cricket is undoubtedly changing. Day/night test matches, a £1.7m fee for Ben Stokes at the IPL auction, flashing stumps and big sponsors but perhaps the biggest changes in the game currently are occurring globally at grass roots levels. In the UK, the ECB has just launched All Star’s Cricket (a mass participation program providing children aged five to eight with a great first experience in cricket) whilst down under Cricket Australia has just announced some major changes to their junior game formats following a successful nationwide pilot program where children played on shorter pitches in smaller teams.

“The changes provide more appropriate game formats, pitch length and number of players on the field for children at various stages of their development and experience,” said former national captain Belinda Clark.

The obvious aim of these initiatives is to boost participation; but at the same time, we see much more strain on facilities with clubs replying – “great but where are they going to play”. Some clubs cannot easily accommodate more juniors and you all too frequently hear of housing developments on playing fields and there has been a rise in the popularity of all weather, synthetic pitches for football and rugby. The cost, time and expertise to maintain a turf wicket are considerable and so it’s no surprise that the popularity of wickets such as the 2G Flicx Pitch has rapidly grown in recent seasons, coinciding with the advent of our new and improved tile which makes the pitch more versatile with good pace and bounce on a range of under-surfaces. Furthermore, our new multi age pitch means that you can used the same pitch for adults, colts and juniors just by moving the stumps from 20.12 to 18.12 to 16.12 metres (something that can be applied to new Australia pitch lengths too).

Converting grass fields which are typically rugby or football fields into cricket pitches for the season is a popular application whilst we are also seeing clubs laying the 2G Flicx Pitch on old or worn astro strips to give them a new lease of life. The cost of our portable 2G Flicx Pitch solution vs an average NPT is 1/3 so it’s really a no brainer in terms of adding additional playing and training capacity more cost effectively plus the surfaces last for years. One match pitch can be moved by one person using our safety trolley and then easily split into two batting ends which can be laid on the outfield for Kwik cricket. Preparation time is shortly and maintenance minimal and the softer 2G tile offers excellent grip and good seam and spin performance.

In our busy lives, statistics are saying that we no longer have time to give up our whole Sunday to play cricket and shorter formats of the game are becoming more popular or more informal cricket utilising different spaces for example on beaches, playgrounds and car parks. Having taken cricket to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, the 2G Flicx Pitch really is a product that means you can play anywhere. Likewise, bright colours and branding options are helping to attract and retain kids in the sport, whilst developing their batting and bowling skills with visual targets. Perhaps the day when we see a T20 game taking place on an artificial wicket isn’t too far away after all and hopefully it’s something that the traditionalist will in time be able to embrace as the future success of the game, could depend on it.

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